The tables seem to have turned as to which horse is naughtiest now.
Shockingly despite Bob ripping yet another of Autumn’s rugs (think that’s 6 this year already), Autumn has taken on the title as most troublesome! In the last few weeks she has taken on full diva status!
It’s mainly due to a combination of things but starts at the last show we went to, which was the other local one we had been trying to get to all year. I was quite excited as it was another new venue, and as we were only jumping no plaiting up required hurrah! We arrived in plenty of time, and the classes were running behind so no need to rush. Got all tacked up whilst having a nice chat with the lady in the next lorry, then off we went to the warm up. The grass coverage was a bit thin and the ground a bit hard so you could hear every hoof beat, so we did a good but not too hard warm up with a few fences, all nice and enthusiastic. We waited our turn by the entrance and as we were about to go in a pony and rider shot past us into the ring, Autumn was not best pleased with this as she doesn’t like standing too long especially at arena entrances, so this then caused her to start backing up and spinning round. They finished their round and we got to go in, but by this time she was not happy, her trot was restrictive and on approach to the fence she put the brakes on. We did a circle and tried again – nope, so I tried one more time and couldn’t get her near the fence. She began backing up and kicking out, the steward came in and put the poles into a small cross pole but again she wouldn’t go forward, we tried poles on the ground but nope. I took her back to the warm up and she was fine – cantering and jumping normally and happily so I decided to try a HC round. We entered the ring – I couldn’t get her out of walk then on came the brakes, I gave her a few nudges but nope, a tap with the whip – still nope. My other half came in put the fence down and tried to lead her over the fence – nope!
Finally got her over the poles on the floor then left the arena. Back in the warm up – all fine again! Its like she got stage fright but I’ve never encountered that before wither her, but on speaking to a friend that evening they had exactly the same experience at that show! My instructor also said it was quite an odd ‘compact’ show ground and some horses didn’t like it! A frustrating day but I’ve tried her at home since and she was fine so guessing it was the show ground. I may hire the SJ course one evening before its packed away and see if she is better with some practice. To compound this behaviour, she has also decided that if I dare to put a lightweight rug on her (with all this rain and cold winds) she will tear up and down the fields until I take it off again! She doesn’t seem to realise her age or that she is getting stiffer joints at times, I better get used to a mud monster for a few more weeks until she settles down!
Speaking of whizzing about, Bob and I had another lesson, this time over several fences as we practised the ‘4 leaf clover’ set up and I was shocked to say he was amazing. We started with poles on the ground and doing the circles into each corner (which was not fun in one section as a wasps nest has appeared in part of the bank by the arena fence eek!) then progressed to cross poles and finally straight bars, which were all jumped well and never once charged at. He did jump a bit high a few times (luckily I had the sticky bum breeches on otherwise I’m sure I would have ate some sand!) but was fairly calm and listened when I asked him to whoa ahead of a fence. I came away feeling so confident and spent the majority of the lesson laughing and smiling which was so great! The exercise really got him listening to me as he didn’t know where he was going next as we did mix it up a bit and even removed some of the approaching circles so he ended up going round straight to a fence. It also helped him to work on his balance and speed as the arena is quite small for a horse his size but he handled it so well – definitely an exercise to continue with!
We had the dentist yesterday, and I won’t lie I was dreading it. The horses must have plotted against us is all I can think as each one was naughty – Bob was bolshy and panicky, dancing and throwing his head about. Autumn spent the majority of time on two legs, and Aria well she tried to imitate Autumn with the rearing then decided to paw a lot but after 5 mins calmed and was the best of all three again! The poor dentist, I felt so awful for her because of their behaviour, but she got them all done – she said they must have just been having an off day as they were much better behaved last time! I left them out overnight as noticed them chewing their hay oddly from their haynets so thought some soft wet grass in a bit of the winter paddock would be better until they were ‘used to’ their teeth again, sods law it rained a lot and was windy so I had a sleepless night worrying but all was good as I checked on them this morning at 5am...Horses ay!